Profiles: Waterways people


Interview with... Michael Fenton

Paint it Black

Keelblack has been heralded as a faster, cleaner and longer-lasting boat blacking alternative. Michael Fenton is owner and MD of the parent company, Tuffblack.

 

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Interview with...Saul Pochin

Tony Jones speaks to Saul Pochin, business partner at Leicestershire-based boat illumination specialist Aten Lighting

What’s the best advice or most useful tip you can offer those who are looking for lighting products?

Don’t buy cheap. We often meet people, especially at shows, who tell us they can buy a product we sell much more cheaply online. While that might be technically true, most often these are products of a vastly inferior quality. These products might look identical, but more often than not people end up coming back to us to buy a better version when the cheaper one has let them down.

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Interview with... Ian Parrott

Ian Parrott is the general manager of the New & Used Boat Company’s office at Mercia Marina. He started boating in 1968, pursued a career in printing, then began working in the inland boat industry in 2007. He tells WN his fascinating story

“My father yearned to go boating. When we moved to the Midlands, he bought an ex-British Waterways (BW) wooden hire-boat called Grebe. It was two-berth plus two at the back under canvas where my brother and I slept. Back in the 1950s and ‘60s, BW built a range of hire-boats and Grebe had no gunwales and was a very strange-looking boat. 

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Interview with... Rebecca Falder

WN chats to Rebecca Falder – HMG Paints’ fourth-generation family business member – about joining her relatives in the workplace and supporting her peers through local and national networks

What’s your role at HMG Paints?

My current role is a bit of a mixed bag. I’m based in the accounts department but I also do a lot of project management, looking at key aspects of the business that could be improved. I’m involved in peer networks too. 

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Five minutes with... Matt Ashmall

The newest member of Promarine Finance’s senior management team reflects on 30 years in the marine finance industry

Tell us a bit about your career and how you first got into marine finance 

Around the time that I left school, my father was made redundant and he was offered a job by a friend of his who owned a local finance company. Dad decided not to take the job and I was offered an interview, which resulted in a job that I’ve stuck with ever since. 

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Interview with... Jonathan Gittins

WN talks to the head of lighting at environmental design consultants Atelier Ten about creating an ecologically sensitive and sustainable lighting scheme for London's Illuminated River project

How has Atelier Ten been involved in Illuminated River?

Illuminated River is a public art installation transforming the River Thames in central London with an orchestrated series of light works than span nine bridges. The aim was to create an artwork through the city that could be enjoyed by everybody and to encourage people to use the river at night by making it more welcoming. Atelier Ten was appointed as technical lighting designer with the vision to install illuminations that are sensitive to the environment, both to the visual surroundings and to the ecology of the river and its inhabitants. 

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Five minutes with… Michelle Greenwood

The co-owner of Tristar Boats talks boat-building trends and being female in a male-dominated industry

Tell us a bit about your background and how Tristar Boats came about

Tristar has been going for 13 years now. My husband Jeremy and I are co-owners but we didn’t have much of a boating background beforehand. I trained in fine art/sculpture, and he was scenery carpenter for theatre and film. We met in London while I was living on a friend’s narrowboat; Jeremy had just started building his first boat and he brought it to the marina where I was moored. After we got together, we lived afloat and talked about the fact that we’d got all these design and construction skills – and enthusiasm. He was fed up with building things that were temporary, and we both really liked living on the water. When we first had our children we moved to Sheffield to live in a house, but we missed the waterways so moved to the East Midlands to start a boat-building business – it seemed like the obvious thing to do in the 2008 recession.

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